Zeigler

Tabriz merchants about 1875 started production for export. On 1883 a British firm of Swiss origin; Messrs Zeigler and Co of Manchester; established an office there. They were importers of Manchester piece goods and their first office was in Tabriz. Their business prospered but they found difficulty in remitting the proceeds of their sales to London. Their principal method was to purchase sold coins, mainly Russian Imperials which they forwarded in groups by special messenger to Russia; whence the counter value was transferred to London through normal banking channels. One of Zeiglers’ staff, a German called Oscar Straus, suggested that it might be to the firm’s advantage to use their funds for buying carpets in Sultanabad, which they could turn in to money in England. The plan was adopted, and in 1883 Strauss was sent to Sultanabad to begin operations. Before many years Zeiglers possessed a large compound in Sultanabad, with houses for their staff, offices, dye houses and stores and were placing orders for carpets in the town and the surrounding villages. It was they who established the system of giving out the yarn ready dyed to the weavers. They used both native and European dyes. Their designs were mainly repeating patterns. The repeat was first woven in the form of mats, which were distributed among the weavers to be used as models for their carpets. In course of time these were replaced by scale-paper designs. The business grew in importance until by the turn of the century, Zeiglers were controlling 2500 looms in the area. The undertaking, after a long and honourable record was voluntarily liquidated shortly before the last war. It was not until the first decade of the 20th century that other European and American Firms